Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer are among Rajasthan’s most well-known and popular attractions, and they should not be missed on any Rajasthan itinerary. But Rajasthan is more than these vibrant cities; alternative places such as Bikaner and Bundi are well worth a visit for their history and ancient towns, Pushkar is a must-see for spiritual seekers, and Bharatpur has some excellent wildlife-viewing options. In this Rajasthan article, we’ll go through all of them. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan
However, to grasp Rajasthani culture, one must first experience the state’s rich rural life and tapestry. The vibrant Marwari culture may be found in Rajasthan’s calmer villages and desert camps, rather than in the state’s busy metropolis. Spending time in homestays and villages taught me more about the Marwari (Rajasthani) way of life than touring the old Pink City of Jaipur. If you wish to do the same, we’ll teach you how in this article!
Have you visited Rajasthan and have any recommendations for other readers planning a vacation there? Please let us know in the comments box at the bottom of this page, and I’ll include them in my Rajasthan travel blog. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and part of the “Golden Triangle,” was completely different from what I expected.
I’d built a romantic idea of Jaipur, which is known as the “pink city” and for its magnificent palaces. The reality is a dirty, loud, and busy city (especially by Indian standards) that is accustomed to travellers with a lot of cash and little time to bargain. The commotion begins when you arrive at the train station, where you can expect to be bombarded with offers of transportation as soon as you get off the train. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
But this doesn’t mean you can skip Jaipur!
What this means is that you might be better off deferring your buying until later in your vacation, or that if you do go shopping in The Pink City’s Bazaars, be prepared to negotiate hard. It’s also a good idea to pre-arrange pick-ups from your hotel/guesthouse to the railway station, especially if your train comes after dark. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Where to Stay in Jaipur
I stayed with the Arya Niwas hotel company, which operates a number of properties in Jaipur. The hotels are all family-owned, and all of them are working to lessen their environmental impact. They also have a homey feel about them. The Arya Niwas is the most centrally placed hotel; I stayed at Tara Niwas, which is located in the Bani Park part of the city and is calmer and more homey. The city centre is around a 20-minute auto-rickshaw journey from Tara Niwas. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
The hotel features its own front and courtyard gardens, the latter of which is home to a pair of pet bunnies that enjoy free reign of the garden before the guests arrive! I enjoyed getting away from the rush and bustle of the Pink City here.
Things to do in Jaipur
For good reason, the principal sites of Amer Fort (also known as the Amber Fort) and City Palace are unmissable. If you visit the City Palace, it is well worth the additional cost to view portions of the palace that are not exposed to the public — some of the chambers are breathtaking. I didn’t go inside the Hawa Mahal since the vista from the outside was enough for me, and reports say the passageways are somewhat claustrophobic. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
A short walk from Amber’s Amber Fort lies the Anokhi block printing museum. Block printing is a lovely, ancient Rajasthani technique that is rapidly disappearing.
In Jaipur, you may shop for items crafted from hand-printed textiles at the Anokhi store, or eat lunch at their organic cafe. Poppin Organic Cafe is a great place to go if you’re looking for organic food.
Consider joining Virasat Experiences, a community tourism project, on a tour.
At the Amber Fort, avoid riding the elephants. Aside from ethical debates surrounding elephant riding (see above), recent government inspections have found poor living conditions and animal maltreatment. The amount of rides an elephant may take each day appears to have been restricted. Unfortunately, the popularity of elephant rides is on the rise. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
One of the highlights of my Rajasthan vacation was a stay in Pushkar, Rajasthan’s holiest town.
A trip to Pushkar is one of those that evolves into two nights, and then into much longer than intended. Pushkar does not have any eco/responsible travel certifications, yet it is a fantastic chance to sample part of Rajasthan’s Spiritual India culture.
Pushkar Lake – The town – which is claimed to have been established when a lotus flower fell from Lord Brahma’s hands – is said to have been formed when a lotus flower fell from Lord Brahma’s hands. It’s also the only area in India where Brahma temples may be found. Apart from the occasional temple visit, there isn’t much to do in Pushkar, which is one of its pleasures in my opinion. Alcohol is not permitted in Pushkar since it is a Hindu pilgrimage town.
A walk about town in the early morning or late at night, soaking up the ambiance by the lake, will provide you with all the information you need about this area. The cafés on Jaipur Ghat are a nice place to sit and enjoy a chai while watching the sunset or the morning activities. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Pushkar is known for its annual Camel Fair, which you may choose to attend or avoid depending on your tolerance for crowds and dust. During the event, the town fills up quickly, so make your reservations early. Ajmer is the closest significant city with train and bus links; trains to Jaipur operate regularly. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Where to Stay in Pushkar.
There are several modest guesthouses in and around Pushkar. In terms of having a more personal experience and the economic advantage reaching the local community more directly, I always suggest small hotels over large hotel corporations. I slept at the Hotel Everest (above), which is owned and operated by a local family, provides excellent cuisine and tea, and has a beautiful rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
The “City of Lakes,” also known as the “Venice of the East,” is India’s most romantic city. It was also the most touristy place in Rajasthan, according to me.
I guess I got lucky when I went in January 2017, because the throngs were elsewhere. Although the city centre surrounding the lake has been built almost completely on tourism (with the majority of buildings being tourist agencies, hotels, shops, and restaurants), Udaipur should not be forgotten. A wonderful sight is watching the morning mist clear over the mountains across Lake Pichola from the battlements of the City Palace. My finest piece of advice? Get up a little earlier than the rest of the family for some alone time. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Udaipur has excellent bus and rail connections; I came by train from Ajmer (5 hours). Between Udaipur and Jodhpur, there are no railways; the bus ride takes 6-7 hours. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Where to Stay in Udaipur
I stayed on the Hanuman Ghat side of the lake, which is only a short distance from the city centre across the lake and has (perhaps) greater views than the other side. The Panorama Guest House, where I stayed, is a family-run establishment with stunning views of the lake from my room and the rooftop restaurant, but Mr Grumpy appeared to be their primary receptionist. Millets of Mewar (see below) have recently built a Guesthouse that focuses on eco/community tourism and links visitors with local non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) that work on social and environmental concerns. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
If you have palace fantasies and wish to live out a genuine fantasy in Udaipur, the Taj Palace on the Lake is only open to those who have reserved a room (no visits for beverages or tea are permitted). Make a reservation ahead of time and bring a substantial wallet! Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Things to do in Udaipur
Udaipur’s primary attractions are the City Palace and a boat ride on Lake Pichola.
Boat tours are available from the City Palace grounds, but a cheaper option is to travel to the booking office at the end of Lal Ghat, where boat trips are also available.
The City Palace: it’s been said that it becomes packed later in the day, so go when it first opens (09.30am). At 09.15 a.m., I entered through the gates and had the entire facility to myself.
Art of Bicycles offers trips that are a terrific opportunity to experience Udaipur and the neighbouring area beyond the lake.
Millets of Mewar is an excellent place to enjoy some of Udaipur’s healthiest food, both Indian and international. They are the proprietors of the aforementioned guesthouse and also provide cuisine excursions and cooking classes in Udaipur. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Many visitors are enchanted by the Blue City’s genuine local charm. Despite the fact that it is a popular site, the inhabitants appear to be as pleasant as can be. I didn’t travel to Jodhpur with any expectations, but I discovered that it has its own unique charm. Even tourism industry heavyweights like Conde Nast have listed Jodhpur as a top destination.
Even in Rajasthan, the Mehrangarh Fort is as stunning as forts get. It can be seen from anywhere in the city, and many hotels and guest homes in Jodhpur offer fantastic views of the fort. However, Jodhpur’s allure extends beyond its fort. There’s much to see outside of Jodhpur if you’ve seen as many blue houses as you can in the ancient blue city or exhausted your buying options in the bazaars. and The remoter hamlet of Osiyan, about an hour’s drive away, has several stunning Jain temples and offers an opportunity to enjoy the Thar Desert away from the hordes of Jaisalmer.
Where to Stay in Jodhpur
Castle Outlook homestay, amid the blue city, with a wonderful view up towards the towering Fort, is a hidden gem that I discovered and did not want to leave. This guesthouse, which is located in the blue city and has elements of moorish architecture, is adorned in chic whitewash with hanging lights and has a stunning rooftop restaurant, has been meticulously repaired. The deluxe rooms provide a glimpse of the castle without requiring guests to leave their beds. This homestay’s location, away from the main tourist area surrounding the clocktower, was very appealing to me.
For those on a kingly budget, the RAAS hotel has received wonderful ratings from publications such as Conde Nast Traveller and is working to reduce its environmental impact. However, many hotels in Jodhpur provide the famed vista at a fraction of the cost.
I stayed at the lovely Chandelao Garh Homestay, which is around 40 kilometres from Jodhpur and gives the opportunity to stay in the countryside and enjoy some of Rajasthan’s village life while yet being close enough to visit the city on a day trip. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Things to do in Jodhpur
The Mehrangarh Fort is not only one of the most beautiful, but it is also one of Rajasthan’s best-organized tourist attractions, with a high-quality audio tour included.
Don’t miss Rao Jodha desert rock park on your way down from the Fort. This ecotourism initiative began in 2011. The former wasteland has been meticulously turned into a desert garden, with natural plants that require minimal water being planted. There are many roads / trails to meander around and take in the scenery, with the fort and city below serving as a background. It’s best to avoid the midday heat!
I went on a half-day tour of the Blue City with Virasat Experiences. It was fascinating to explore Jodhpur’s old quarter through the eyes of a native and learn about the best tea and snack stalls. The warmth of the residents, who all took the time to converse, exchange pleasantries, or simply smile, made the most effect on me. Virasat may organise responsible tourism day trips to tiny towns nearby in addition to other city tours.
The adjacent town of Osiyan serves as a gateway to the Thar / Great Indian Desert. From here, you may travel on a multi-day desert safari up to Bikaner or Jailsalmer, or just relax in the desert for a few days in Osiyan. I stayed with HACRA, an ecotourism enterprise started by a village.
My own experience with Jaisalmer, which is often characterised as emerging out of the Great Indian Desert like a mirage, was less romantic. Despite the fact that it began with a dawn above the city.
The fort of Jaisalmer resembles a massive sandcastle turned upside down. It’s different from other forts in Rajasthan since it’s still a live fort. The historic city of Jaisalmer still has a few residents and attracts a great number of visitors; nevertheless, the city within the fort has become a big tourist trap in recent years. As additional guesthouses open and more water has to be pumped within, the ancient fort (which dates from 1156) is unable to deal with the volume of water that needs to be drained out. As a result of erosion and subsidence, the fort is progressively sinking. Jaisalmer in Jeopardy, a UK-based organisation, has been increasing awareness of the crisis and the necessity for protection. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
Tourism is the major industry of Jaisalmer, and Camel Safaris play an important part in the local economy. It’s all about selling camel safaris and rides for most people in the tourism sector. I passed on a camel safari in Jaisalmer since I had already experienced the desert in Osiyan, near Jodhpur (see above). If you aren’t intending on going on a desert journey, you may discover that there isn’t much to do in Jaisalmer – but some people appear to be content to remain and explore for a few days.
Jaisalmer was my least favourite destination in Rajasthan because of the high levels of tourist horde.
Where to Stay in Jaisalmer
Because of the fort’s pressure from tourist numbers and water needs, I recommend lodging in Jaisalmer outside of the fort. In addition, you’ll get a greater view of the fort itself. There are no environmentally friendly choices, however there are a lot of family-run hotels.
Things to do in Jaisalmer
Aside from the camel rides, the Fort is the primary attraction. However, when compared to those at Jodhpur, Amber, and Bikaner, the museum/fort palace is a poor relation, and you can get a sense of it just by wandering about the city inside the walls, which are open to roam around. Let’s know more about The Best Places to Visit in Rajasthan.
You may visit a variety of lovely Havelis, such as the Patwon Ki Haveli.
Take a leisurely stroll to Gandisar Lake to observe the local activities or to relax.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore is the greatest place in Rajasthan to watch tigers, and it attracts a large number of people each year. It’s one of the few Tiger parks in this region of India (for better and less crowded alternatives, travel to Madhya Pradesh) and is known for its ruined temples, which provide a stunning backdrop for the tigers if you’re lucky enough to spot one.
Ranthambore has recently come under fire for allowing too many people into the park (tiger parks must respect to stringent quotas imposed by the Forestry Department) and for overdevelopment of its land – the construction of additional resorts. Tiger parks in India, on the other hand, are critical to the protection of this magnificent species and, in general, provide a responsible experience. All tiger safaris take place in cars, far from the tigers, and sightings are seldom guaranteed.
Bikaner & Bundi
I hadn’t intended to visit Bikaner, but owing to train delays and reroutes, I was able to do so. And it’s a good thing I did! The Junagarh Fort features some of the best maintained chambers I observed on my journey, despite the fact that hardly many individual passengers make it here (which is incentive enough to come). There’s also a lovely historic city to see, as well as Bhandasar Temple, a vibrant Jain temple. Bikaner is a wonderful alternative to Jaisalmer since it offers a variety of camel safari options with less tourists.
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Update 2018: India’s first Zero-Waste Guesthouse launched in Bikaner in early this year! More information on Hara House may be found here.
Bundi also gets wonderful ratings, though we haven’t been there yet. If just to experience a portion of Rajasthan that many travellers miss, I would suggest staying here. It has yet to experience the same amounts of tourist as some of Rajasthan’s other cities.
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